Last year, I wrote about the concept of turning the mobile phone into the ultimate device for mobile reporting (a concept which applies to any content creator). Publishers, in keeping with the Web 2.0 notion of timely information in a variety of formats, would arm journalists with a tricked-phone phone from which they could write, take pictures, shoot videos and easily upload them to the mothership (read Digital Media Operations center) for deployment in print, online, mobile, etc.. Outside of some experiments with the Nokia N-series devices, the idea has not caught on. Mobile phones can also deploy live stream applications such as Qik and Flixwagon, but to be honest they are not totally reliable and often the resolution is not suitable for lengthy viewing.
Admittedly, the computer notebook is a wonderful tool for the reporter/content creator. The notebook can be a powerful device with great processing power and the capacity to launch a number of content creation tools from word processing to webcam-delivered video. With a Firewire port and the right videocamera, live video streamed via one of the many socialcasting sites (Now Live, uStream, etc…) can take the place of an expensive mobile broadcast unit. Still, in some situations where space is cramped, the notebook is not ideal.
So, now there is the Netbook, a three-pound mini wonder that has some of power of the notebook with an added dash of true portability which could turn a reporter/content creator into a true “platypus” journalist. (Go here for a definition of a platypus journalist).
With that in mind, the folks from Dell have given me a two-day loaner of a netbook here at SXSW so I can see how it works as a portable content creation device. My goal is to do some blogging, podcasting, live video and “video on demand” creation. I downloaded VideoSpin from Pinnacle to do basic editing of video files.